Announcing Promotions of our Executive Management Team
Hello colleagues, friends and industry partners,
Today is a historic day at Randle Communications as I am thrilled to announce major promotions for our talented executive leadership team. Across my 35 year career in public affairs, public relations and politics, I’ve never worked alongside such a talented and passionate group of professionals, who exude ‘Good to Great’ leadership and are committed to one another and the success of our team.
Julie Phillips is being promoted to President and a Partner at the firm after 11 years of exceptional work at Randle Communications. Julie is an extraordinarily talented professional and a one-of a kind leader that blends a unique ability to think strategically and execute complex projects flawlessly. She is the ultimate team player that uses her talents to mentor our team while also staying laser focused on developing each one of them into great professionals. In her role as President of the firm, she will run the firm’s day to day operations, lead the Senior Management Team and play a larger strategic and leadership role with our clients. Since joining the firm, Julie has been a catalyst for company growth, launching the firm’s award-winning digital public affairs program, spurring innovation in services and leading public affairs and public relations projects for major California clients.
Lindsey Goodwin will now serve as Randle’s Senior Vice President leading the firm’s public affairs and health care practices. Known and respected for her passion and deep public policy experience, she enriches client strategy and delivers sophisticated and fully integrated programs to many of California’s largest industries and organizations. Since 2013, Lindsey has propelled Randle’s award-winning public affairs and health care practices, in the process becoming an expert in health care, transportation and housing, while also cultivating the trust and respect of clients and colleagues.
Erin Dunlay is a remarkably talented and versatile professional whose two decades of experience splits across public relations, public affairs and ballot measure campaigns. Erin specializes in strategic communications and will drive the firm’s growing public relations practice as Senior Vice President, bringing her vast experience launching large-scale initiatives, building and protecting brands and amplifying client stories using traditional and innovative digital tools. Since 2015, Erin has played a central role across diverse client industries, leading project teams that span health care, banking and finance, environmental protection, public pension management and crisis communications.
Nanette Farag has supercharged Randle’s political affairs practice since joining the firm and will now serve as its Senior Vice President, bringing her unmatched talent to power the expansion of the firm’s political affairs practice. Nanette is a skilled public affairs and political strategist with executive experience achieving success and winning ballot measures at the state and local levels. She leads the industry with her strategic thinking and tenacious pursuit of winning. Nanette has nearly two decades of experience leading strategic operations, political campaigns and external relations for high-profile candidates and elected officials. Since 2019, Nanette has propelled the firm’s in-house political affairs services, cultivating a comprehensive suite of offerings that connect research, data, strategic coalition development, breakthrough content production, earned and paid media and multi-faceted messaging strategies.
This marks a monumental step as the firm creates a pathway for further expansion and innovation into the future.
Along with our Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Kifer, the senior leadership of Randle Communications is comprised of individuals with tremendous talent, experience, passion and commitment to leading a team-first organization. Individually each are spectacular based on their unique expertise and skills, and combined, they represent a dynamic and powerhouse team.
These promotions will drive continued collaboration across practice and issue areas, bringing greater value and strategic communications support to firm clients.
Please join me in celebrating this exciting announcement!
Founder & CEO,
RANDLE COMMUNICATIONS ELEVATES SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM TO POWER THE FIRM INTO THE FUTURE
New Roles Drive Public Relations, Public Affairs and Political Practices
SACRAMENTO – Randle Communications, the leading public relations and public affairs firm in Sacramento, has announced major promotions of its executive team to drive the firm’s continued expansion, growth and innovation. Julie Phillips has been elevated to President and Partner of the firm, and Lindsey Goodwin, Erin Dunlay and Nanette Farag have been named to Senior Vice President roles in Public Affairs, Public Relations and Political Affairs. This marks a significant step for the firm, as its executive team will drive growth and success across dynamic practice areas and continue bringing clients innovative in-house services with the tenacity of a startup and the expertise and resources of a national firm. Jeff Randle remains in the position as Founder and CEO, bringing decades of strategic communications experience working alongside client partners at the highest levels of the private and public sectors.
“Julie, Lindsey, Erin and Nanette are a powerhouse team who bring tremendous value to our client partners based on their unique strengths and expertise, and together, they offer visionary leadership and decades of public relations, public affairs and political expertise,” said Founder and CEO Jeff Randle. “Their talents, passion, and devotion to supporting our team have propelled the firm to its top position in the market and sustained our growth over the past decade.”
The leadership team, including its Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Kifer, has been working together for nearly a decade to deliver results for clients across diverse industries including health care, finance, housing, natural resources, education and utilities. Their innovative approach to communications has solidified the firm’s position as a leading provider of public affairs and public relations services across California.
In her new role as President and Partner of the firm, Julie Phillips will steer firm operations with her dynamic leadership, creativity, and flawless execution of complex projects, and she will play a larger strategic role leading major clients across the organization. Since joining the firm in 2012, Phillips has been a catalyst for company growth, launching the firm’s award-winning digital public affairs program, spurring innovation in services and leading public affairs and public relations projects for major California clients.
Lindsey Goodwin will lead the firm’s public affairs practice and launch a new health care practice, bringing passion and deep public policy experience to enrich client strategy and deliver sophisticated and fully integrated programs to many of California’s largest industries and organizations. Since 2013, Goodwin has propelled Randle’s award-winning public affairs practice, in the process becoming an expert in health care, transportation and housing, while also cultivating the trust and respect of clients and colleagues.
Erin Dunlay specializes in strategic communications and will drive the firm’s growing public relations practice with her vast experience launching large-scale initiatives, building and protecting brands and amplifying client stories using traditional and innovative digital tools. Since 2015, Dunlay has played a central role across diverse client industries, leading project teams that span health care, banking and finance, environmental protection, public pension management, crisis communications and ballot measure campaigns.
Nanette Farag will fuel the expansion of the firm’s political affairs practice. Farag is a skilled public affairs and political strategist with executive experience achieving success and winning ballot measures at the state and local levels. She leads the industry with her strategic thinking and tenacious pursuit of winning. Farag has nearly two decades of experience leading strategic operations, political campaigns and external relations for high-profile candidates and elected officials. Since 2019, Farag has propelled the firm’s in-house political affairs services, cultivating a comprehensive suite of offerings that connect research, data, strategic coalition development, breakthrough content production, earned and paid media and multi-faceted messaging strategies.
“This group’s passion for the industry and their commitment to culture and supporting one another is unmatched,” said Randle. “It’s an extraordinary group of ‘Good to Great’ leaders who make a powerhouse team.”
These promotions will propel continued collaboration across practice and issue areas, bringing greater value and strategic communications support to firm clients.
About Randle Communications:
Jeff Randle created Randle Communications in 2001 to give clients great service from experts who thrive in a team environment. Randle specializes in strategic storytelling, executive positioning, brand building and reputation management, media relations, digital advocacy, breakthrough content generation, ballot initiative campaigns, litigation communications and crisis management. The firm is a two-time Inc. Magazine Best WorkPlace award winner and has been a longstanding receipt of the Sacramento Business Journal’s A+ Employer award.
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Leveraging Social Media to Cultivate and Strengthen Coalitions
By: Michael Lienhard, Senior Account Executive, Randle Communications
A critical public affairs strategy for success is building an authentic coalition of partners who champion your cause. Coalition building includes cultivating a group of stakeholders, often from diverse backgrounds, that have unique viewpoints but a shared stake in the outcome of policy decisions. While digital platforms and social media are ubiquitous in 2023, online platforms are often overlooked as a tool for creating and growing coalitions.
From recruiting potential partners to engaging with existing allies, social media can expand reach, mobilize supporters and amplify messages. Below, we examine the role of social media in coalition building and provide three best practices to leverage social media to build successful coalitions and win for our clients.
- Identify Prospective Coalition Members
Who are existing allies and how can we identify new partners? Consider the individuals, organizations and other influencers who share goals or have a stake in the issue at hand, even tangentially. Use social media listening tools, to analyze online conversations, to identify organizations, individuals and groups with shared views.
When examining potential partners consider individuals and organizations with large social media followings or other forms of influence, such as high engagement rates or loyal followers.
2. Leverage Social Media for Partner Engagement
Once potential partners have been identified, the next step is to engage by commenting on posts, sharing content, tagging individuals and organizations in posts or articles of common interest, and reaching out directly to share your goals and propose ways of collaboration. It’s important to be sincere with all interactions and to avoid simply asking for their support. Instead, focus on building genuine relationships and finding ways to collaborate on shared goals.
In addition to reaching out to potential partners, social media is a must when engaging with existing coalition members. This could include sharing updates on the campaign, highlighting the work of coalition members and providing engaging content and opportunities for members to share their own stories and experiences related to the issue. Keeping coalition members engaged and informed can help build a sense of community and momentum around the campaign.
3. Measure Success and Partnership Engagement
If you can’t measure impact it is difficult to determine effectiveness, so it’s important to track and analyze social media efforts and make refinements as necessary. Establishing goals at the onset and monitoring engagement metrics such as likes, comments and shares, is key to gauge the impact of efforts to grow the coalition over time. By analyzing this data, you can identify what’s working and what’s not, and adjust the social media strategy accordingly.
Social media is a powerful tool for building coalitions in strategic public affairs campaigns. By identifying potential partners, engaging with existing coalition members and leveraging influencers, campaigns can use social media to expand their reach, mobilize supporters, amplify resonance and ultimately deliver winning results. Randle Communications follows these best practices to help clients achieve their goals.
5 Ways to Increase Innovation at your Agency or Organization
By Rachel Marquardt, Senior Digital Strategist, Randle Communications
The hustle and bustle of agency life includes full schedules, complex projects and client objectives, and professionals with diverse strengths and skill sets. The landscape doesn’t easily create space and time to pursue new ideas and breach the innovative frontier, but as the digital world continues evolving, it’s critical agencies ensure their teams are positioned to maximize new technology, ideate and problem-solve while still supporting their clients with industry-leading services.
Here are a few tips that could benefit your agency as you work to weave in time for innovation for your busy team.
1. Embrace Strategies to Turn Pressure into Productivity
Did you know that individuals are most creative at a specific time of day? It’s science – when the brain is overwhelmed, it leaves no room for creativity. This may give readers who are in the agency world the urge to stop reading this article altogether because it can be difficult to unclutter your mind when there is consistent pressure to provide the highest quality work for clients. The answer is this: Harness pressure into productivity.
When stress becomes overwhelming, something neurologists refer to as “downshifting,” a state of fight or flight occurs where your brain’s pathways are not open to creative ideas, only ideas that will support survival. However, there are ways to “upshift” your brain out of this state and into a state of creativity and productivity, according to Leading Crisis Management Expert Ben Ramalingam in his book “UpShift.”
There are a few things you can do to upshift your brain and turn pressure into productivity, including:
- Reset your mind by taking a quick walk or getting a breath of fresh air
- Work in a different space of the office than usual for a period of time (if in person)
- Meditate or practice deep breathing
- Use a grounding technique such as a stress ball, journal, or inspirational quote to take your brain away from a stressful task
- Let a digital or on-paper to-do list take ownership of keeping track of your day-to-day tasks, so your brain has more room for creativity
These disruptions to your standard flow or routine will give your brain the opportunity to upshift.
To learn more about upshifting, check out the book “Upshift” by Ben Ramalingam.
2. Optimize Your In-Person or Virtual Collaboration Time
Brainstorming – a concept initially invented by Alex Osborn in the 1950s – is best done together in an inclusive, undistracting environment. This means setting aside other tasks to focus on one goal, together, whether in a virtual setting or in person. Optimize your in-person or virtual collaboration time by scheduling 30 minutes to 1 hour for your team to brainstorm solutions to one challenge without any other agenda items or distractions. At Randle Communications, we value using our brainstorming space to set aside focused ideation sessions where we don’t let other client items or tasks interfere.
3. Encourage Diverse Perspectives to Generate Ideas
There is great value in incorporating diverse skills and perspectives into a team who is looking to problem-solve. Unlike what some may believe, it isn’t the similarities between team members that hold the most value but their differences. This means different backgrounds, departments, skills, and levels in your organization too. It takes multiple personalities, ideas, and perspectives to achieve goals and see innovative ideas through.
There are many helpful tools for helping people pinpoint their productive personalities and where they best fit when it comes to innovative problem-solving. For example, is there someone in your office who is an endless idea generator? Or how about someone who likes to take a plan and jump in to make things happen? These people are just some of the many puzzle pieces that fit to make an innovative team.
Many people believe it is an innate personality trait to be innovative or be a “problem-solver,” but that is truly not the case. This means when you’re assembling your project teams or bringing people together to solve a problem, even someone who may not feel like they have the “innovative” gene might have the perfect piece to finish your team’s puzzle. If you’re interested in learning how your team can harness their skills and personalities in the workplace, check out FourSight, or The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Peters.
4. Quantity Will Lead to Quality
You have the team, you’ve set aside the time. But how do you plan a productive brainstorming session? When it comes to brainstorming ideas that will lead to innovative solutions, quantity will lead to quality. This concept was coined by Osborn and has been researched and confirmed by multiple creativity, innovation, and behavior researchers.
In order to develop quality concepts from a quantity of ideas, here’s a quick sequence to try in your brainstorming sessions:
- Define your challenge, or the problem you are hoping to solve.
- Have your team individually write down as many ideas as possible.
- Have each team member add their ideas to a whiteboard, or a virtual list for the team to see.
- Begin discussing which of the ideas are most viable. Can multiple ideas connect? Do some of the ideas spark others?
- From there, pick the idea or ideas the team wants to move forward with, and begin making a plan to address your problem.
Practice omitting the word “no,” from these brainstorming sessions, as someone’s “no” might be a YES from a differing perspective, or could pair well with another idea.
5. Create an Innovative Space… Physically.
This last section is for teams with a hybrid working schedule or mainly work in-office. If your space is drowning in division due to a large number of physical dividers, consider reimagining a part of your office space for your team. Prioritize building a common space for brainstorming and creativity. Here are a few suggestions for building out your collaboration space:
- Incorporate a White Board: This will help increase collaboration by allowing the team time away from screens and with each other.
- Make it a Comfortable Space: Swap out the swivel chairs for couches and make sure there’s enough for the group, big or small.
- Place it in a Prominent Location: If your workspace allows it, select a location that is easily accessible and people pass by frequently.
Julie Phillips Elevated to Managing Director
Randle Communications, Sacramento’s top public relations and public affairs firm, has announced that Julie Phillips has been elevated to Managing Director. She will continue to hold the Vice President title while also expanding her responsibilities by leading day-to-day firm operations, including talent acquisition, resource management, business growth, and innovation. Phillips will report directly to President and CEO Jeff Randle and lead the senior management team of expert public relations, public affairs, and political professionals.
“Julie Phillips has been an integral leader of our firm for a decade, and this well-deserved promotion underscores her value to our clients, our team, and the critical role she will play for the firm as we continue to grow and expand,” said President and CEO Jeff Randle. “She has the perfect blend of experience, expertise, and vision to lead firm operations, having guided complex and high-stakes public relations and public affairs programs, while also cultivating trust with client partners and the respect of our team.”
Phillips started her career in the State Legislature, joining Randle in 2012. Since then, she has played a central role in the growth of the company, launching the firm’s award-winning digital public affairs program, spurring innovation in services, and leading public affairs and public relations projects for major California clients in health care, finance, housing, natural resources, and utilities.
“It’s a privilege to work with Jeff Randle and Mitch Zak to support the best strategic communications team in California and work on projects that have a profound impact on the future of our state. Randle Communications is stronger than ever, and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to help lead the organization into the future,” Phillips said.
Phillips earned a political science degree from the University of California, Davis, where she was elected vice president of the Undergraduate Student Association. Phillips was recognized as one the Sacramento Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2017 and is an Alumni of Leadership Sacramento.
Emilie Cameron to Fuel Firm’s Next Phase of Expansion and Growth
Randle Communications, Sacramento’s top public relations and public affairs firm, has hired Emilie Cameron to bolster the firm’s next phase of expansion and growth with a renewed commitment to supporting Sacramento projects that will drive our region into the future. Cameron is a Sacramento native who is passionate about the region and well-known for her civic leadership, knowledge of the regional business climate and advocacy to improve the Downtown grid. An outspoken advocate for Downtown, she has led several high-profile public affairs campaigns in the region. Cameron will lead Randle’s local strategic communications campaigns as vice president, solidifying the firm’s senior ranks and complimenting its public relations, public affairs, ballot initiative and digital practices.
“Emilie Cameron is a highly-accomplished communications professional known for her strategic mindset, unmatched relationships and tenacity to get things done,” said President and CEO Jeff Randle. “She is wired into the Downtown grid, and her connections are only outpaced by her extraordinary leadership and knowledge of public affairs, public relations and economic development. She’s an expert at navigating complex and controversial issues with high-profile stakeholders and will bring that strategy and experience to support our clients and continue growing the firm.”
Cameron brings more than 15 years of communications experience to Randle, including a mastery of integrated communications campaigns, along with branding and marketing, economic development, public affairs and external affairs.
Most recently, Cameron managed an expansive portfolio of communications, marketing and economic development for Downtown Sacramento Partnership, where she successfully launched a $200,000 COVID-response education and recovery campaign, re-branded the Old Sacramento Waterfront, and garnered recognition of Sacramento in the nationwide “Value of U.S. Downtowns” study. She previously worked at public relations and public affairs firms in Sacramento where she gained specialized knowledge on issues in agriculture, education, energy, government, healthcare, finance, sports, entertainment, and transportation.
“Randle Communications has the best strategic communications team in California, and I’m elated to join experts who share a passion and commitment to excellence. I’m also thrilled to launch a local Sacramento practice and partner with regional leaders who are growing jobs, improving the community and creating the next chapter for Sacramento,” said Cameron.
Cameron earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a Communications minor from the University of California, Davis, and calls Hollywood Parks her home. She is on the Regional Council for Make-A-Wish Northeastern & Central California and has been named Volunteer of the Year by the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce (2014), the PR Professional of the Year by Sacramento Public Relations Association (2014) and named to the Sacramento Business Journal’s 40 under 40 in 2012.
Randle Communications Grows Creative and Digital Teams with Key Hires
Randle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, today announced the hiring of three talented professionals to bolster the firm’s proprietary Randle Content Studio through innovative storytelling and best-in-class content development. Justin Garrido has joined the team as a video production assistant, and Sasha Levin-Guracar and Natalie Rochman have been hired as account coordinators.
“These hires represent the firm’s commitment to recruiting talented, high-performing professionals who are committed to excellence and teamwork,” Jeff Randle, President and CEO of Randle Communications said. “Justin, Sasha and Natalie expand and enhance our digital content capabilities and position us to continue leveraging cutting-edge communications tools for our clients.”
Garrido, Levin-Guracar and Rochman all bring digital-first strategies to their roles and enhance our in-house video and digital suite of services.
All three professionals have demonstrated their talent, hard work and commitment to the team. As video production assistant, Garrido supports the creation of news style, explainer, animated, feature, marketing and testimonial videos. He brings years of experience in video production, shooting and editing, and will bolster production capacity of the firm’s growing creative services practice. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from California Polytechnic State University.
Levin-Guracar has demonstrated a keen aptitude for digital content creation and strategy, supporting public relations activities across several Randle clients, including Golden State Water Company, Bear Valley Electric Service, Inc. and the Mattress Recycling Council. She graduated from the University of California, Davis.
Rochman supports the firm’s robust public affairs practice and plays a central role in Randle’s proprietary digital public affairs practice. Her portfolio includes work for the California Association of REALTORS®, Behavioral Health Action and Ducks Unlimited. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
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First-of-its-Kind Legislative Staff Survey Finds California’s Capitol Can’t Function Without Digital Advocacy
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento’s top public relations and public affairs firm, and digital advocacy pioneers, Randle Communications (Randle), today released its fourth annual Digital Influencer Report, which details how social media is used to advance policy in California’s legislative process. The report includes findings from a first-of-its-kind survey of legislative staff on the effectiveness of digital advocacy and highlights the most powerful digital strategies and tactics in a legislative environment defined by the lasting impacts of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 turbocharged the already rapid shift to digital advocacy in California’s Capitol,” Jeff Randle, President and CEO of Randle Communications said. “Our survey of legislative staff found that digital advocacy is more important than ever before and essential to moving the needle with lawmakers.”
The survey found that more than three-quarters of legislative staff survey respondents (76.9%) say digital advocacy is more important to advancing policy due to COVID-19 impacts. Here’s what legislative staffers are saying:
- “Digital advocacy has been one of the only ways for advocates, organizations, and legislators to spread the word on a bill.”
- “When people advocate for an issue on social media, it is just like them making a phone call to our office or an in-person visit. We read what they are saying, who is saying it, how frequently they are saying it.”
- “Now we pay more attention to digital advocacy but still give proper consideration to other forms of communications.”
Given these insights, our report outlines three important lessons:
- COVID-19 accelerated the new era of digital-first advocacy
- Virtual advocacy is here to stay
- Authentic content – and voices – are essential to digital success
Click here to read the 2020 Digital Influencer Report and access the survey findings.
“What we heard from legislative staff is simple: California’s Capitol can’t function without digital advocacy,” Lindsey Goodwin, Vice President of Public Affairs at Randle Communications said. “Those who win in the post-COVID-19 world prioritize an engaging content strategy that elevates authentic voices and recognizes that virtual advocacy is here to stay.”
Randle designs custom public affairs programs with strategic digital elements to help clients achieve their advocacy goals. Randle’s in-house creative and content team, the Randle Content Studio, includes proprietary News-Style Impact Videos, authentic social content development and a comprehensive toolkit of traditional media as well as paid digital strategies.
About Randle Communications:
Jeff Randle created Randle Communications in 2001 with partner Mitch Zak to give clients great service from senior-level professionals. Randle Communications is Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, specializing in strategic planning, media relations, coalition building, digital advocacy, ballot initiative campaigns and crisis management. Sacramento Business Journal has named Randle an A+ Employer every year since 2010.
Randle Communications Promotes Jennifer Kifer to Chief Financial Officer
Randle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm and a Sacramento Business Journal A+ Employer award winner for more than a decade, has promoted Jennifer Kifer to Chief Financial Officer. She has served as controller for the firm, helping manage day-to-day financial operations since 2013. Kifer’s portfolio expands to include strategy, resource allocation and leadership of the firm’s overall fiscal initiatives.
“Chief financial officer is an essential role as our firm continues growing, and Jennifer Kifer is the perfect leader to help us build on our success,” said President and CEO Jeff Randle. “As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, Jennifer will develop and execute financial management strategies that prioritize investments in innovation, talent, technology and operations to increase profitability across all practice areas.”
Randle has achieved record revenues and sustained growth through a targeted diversification of its client portfolio and aggressive development of a wide variety of communications services. This necessitated the need for a skilled chief financial officer, and given her significant contributions to the firm, elevating Kifer was an easy decision.
“Randle Communications is the gold standard in positive leadership, the services it provides and its strong business operations,” Kifer said. “I am honored to support this great team by ensuring it has the resources and technology to power continued innovation and unrivaled client service. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, Team Randle’s startup tenacity combined with a solid fiscal strategy will power our drive to achieve ambitious goals and sustained growth.”
Launched in 2001, Randle is a recognized industry leader. The firm takes pride in its “we, not me” culture and has built long-term client relationships in health care, water and electric utility, financial services, manufacturing, real estate, and environmental sectors. The firm’s proprietary digital advocacy practice, and the region’s only full-service creative Content Studio, give the firm strong competitive advantages in agility, creativity, and efficiency. Kifer will ensure the firm is resourced to build on its leadership position.
Prior to joining Randle, Kifer started Folsom Bookkeeping in 2004, providing financial business support to a wide range of individuals, small businesses, and sole proprietors throughout the Sacramento Valley. Kifer also worked as an associate accountant and financial analyst for Intel Corporation and controller for Sodexo-Marriott. In addition to her finance career, Kifer owns and operates Kifer Pool Service which she started in 2000 with her husband, Mike.
Kifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from California State University, Sacramento. She lives in Arden Park with her husband and two children. When she is not working, she can be found wakeboarding on Folsom Lake and snowboarding in the mountains.
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Learning from the challenges of a global pandemic
Adversity is a great teacher, and 2020 served as a master class in confronting and making the best of a global pandemic that’s disrupted the very way we conduct business. We are not past this crisis yet, but as we approach the one-year mark of California’s Shelter in Place Executive Order, and as we are hopefully witnessing the beginning of the end of uncertainty, I’ve been reflecting on what we’ve learned and what we can pass on to the larger business community; including the importance of culture, investing in and connecting with your employees, anticipating client needs and practicing agility.
When the Shelter in Place order hit, it was paramount that businesses discover new ways to maintain connection as a team and with their clients. Randle Communications, like other businesses in the creative space, develops our best work when it’s reflective of the team’s best thinking. The dynamism and synergy of a team environment is one of the major reasons why we operate a large office in the heart of downtown Sacramento.
With the prospect of being cut off from in-person communications last March, many businesses were left in a reactionary state, scrabbling to bridge the physical divide to maintain connection with each other and to address client business from home.
As business leaders reflect on the one-year anniversary, it’s important to cull some lessons from the crisis and harvest some benefits. That includes taking a closer look at how to minimize disruptions in the future.
Business continuity plans should be designed with an emphasis on communications and culture to succeed. Randle’s business continuity plan was built with our longstanding commitment to fostering a positive work place culture at its core. For 11 straight years, we’ve been rated an A-Plus Employer by the Sacramento Business Journal; the only company in Sacramento to receive that honor. It is a reflection of our tightly-knit workplace where people enjoy working and succeeding together. It was that commitment to culture that drove our quick response to the pandemic.
We invested in new platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to ensure continued work production, but also made it a point to host virtual gatherings that focused on personal discussions, happy hours, fun team building exercises and many other activities. Nothing can take the place of face-to-face interaction of course, but these opportunities helped foster and maintain cohesion and teamwork. A strong team will always produce extraordinary client results.
It’s been a long year. And now as we approach an anniversary that none of us will celebrate, I can say with certainty that our business is better because of the challenges we faced and greater connectivity we have created with our team.
Our internal communications are more robust than ever, and we have a renewed appreciation for the value of personal relationships that lead to better professional results. As a team, we have taken pride in staying focused and disciplined at a time when it would have been too easy to become distracted. That focus has meant success for our clients in the face of disruption and uncertainty.
No one would ever choose to endure the experience of the past year. But every challenge offers an opportunity for learning and growth. There is no COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate the business community. But there are proactive measures to be taken. My key takeaway is that businesses that make a long-term commitment to investing in a positive workplace culture are well-positioned to deal successfully with the disruption and uncertainty of the pandemic. Culture makes a stronger, more resilient team, ready for 2021 and beyond.